Something Missing Replaced

Published December 21, 2012

John 19: 25-20 (Death of Jesus)

The Cross was missing!

In my nativity scene I have always placed a cross to the rear of the manger overshadowing the figurine of baby Jesus in his cradle. I take great care in making sure the cross is properly placed so it will be the main focal point with everything else centered on it.

But one year while taking down and storing away the Christmas decorations I broke the cross beyond repair.

The following year I let the business of my life overwhelm me. I felt that I did not have the time to build another cross. Therefore it was missing from my nativity scene that year. The very first day after I had set up the nativity scene the first of my neighbors asked me were the cross was. It was explained to me how much they missed it and how they had always enjoyed the uniqueness of a cross in the nativity scene. Some told me whenever they looked out their front windows it gave them a real sense of joy and happiness. Others told me when they came home at the end of their day and the first thing they saw was my nativity scene and it always brought them peace and comfort. The following year I was able to build another cross and it is again the central point of my nativity scene.

Some neighbors had never really understood the significance of the cross and why it was so prominently displayed. Maybe there are readers of this blog who do not understand as well. Let me explain.

If you have read my previous blogs you know my life was changed when I accepted the invitation from Christ to begin a personal relationship with Him. This relationship began when I accepted Christ as God and Savior and acknowledged that it was Him who freely gave His life on the cross of Calvary. It is Christ who offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for me, you, and the world. I pointed out in my earlier blogs the Bible tells of this unique and special love God has for me, for you, and for the world (John 3:16). It’s a love I gladly and joyful accepted. I pray all will call upon His name so they too will have this wonderful unexplainable Love in their lives as well!

Use these scriptures as a prayer to God. If prayed sincerely from your heart then you too will enter into a wonderful personal relationship with God. (Acts 2: 21- Romans 10: 12-13)

God had to be born. God had to die on the cross. You can not have one with out the other! I trust you now understand the significant and important use of the cross in my nativity scene. God giving his life for the world is foolishness to the world. Yet, because of the great love He has for the world, God still chose to be born into this world knowing He would die for this world!  There is no greater Amazing Love! There is no greater Amazing Grace!

The cross will always be a simple witness to my neighbors, to the world, and to my self of how great is His love for us!

Ephesians 2:2-10

New International Version (NIV)

in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Hebrews 9:11-28

New International Version (NIV)

The Blood of Christ

11 But when Christ came as high priest of the good things that are now already here,[a] he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not made with human hands, that is to say, is not a part of this creation. 12 He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, thus obtaining[b] eternal redemption. 13 The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14 How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death,[c] so that we may serve the living God!

15 For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.

16 In the case of a will,[d] it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, 17 because a will is in force only when somebody has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living. 18 This is why even the first covenant was not put into effect without blood. 19 When Moses had proclaimed every command of the law to all the people, he took the blood of calves, together with water, scarlet wool and branches of hyssop, and sprinkled the scroll and all the people. 20 He said, “This is the blood of the covenant, which God has commanded you to keep.”[e] 21 In the same way, he sprinkled with the blood both the tabernacle and everything used in its ceremonies. 22 In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.

23 It was necessary, then, for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. 25 Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But he has appeared once for all at the culmination of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. 27 Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, 28 so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

I challenge and encourage all to make this Christmas season a time to read the Bible, to find a church that preaches and teaches the Deity of Christ, a church that believes it is only by the grace of God and his blood,  shed on the cross, that we are saved!

Dave

Rev. David Larsen (Chaplain Compassion Nevada)

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